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Appeal lodged for Benington wind turbine  

Credit:  By Sara Greek, www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk 9 May 2012 ~~

Opponents of a proposed controversial wind turbine in Benington that was rejected by East Herts Council are outraged that an appeal has been lodged for the structure.

The plan for a 284ft (86.5m) turbine on land east of Walkern Road and north and west of High Elms Lane was thrown out by the development control committee in October last year, against the recommendation of the council’s officers, on the grounds that it “would result in significant harm to the landscape character of the surrounding area”.

Members had previously refused, in agreement with the officers, a scheme of three 390ft (119m) turbines in the same area, in January 2009.

An appeal by applicant RH Bott & Son against the decision was dismissed after a public inquiry in December that year.

The inspector concluded that it would be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and would have harmful effects on the landscape and neighbouring listed buildings Gregory’s Farmhouse and Frogmore Hall.

RH Bott & Son point out in their appeal that the scheme is no longer in the Green Belt and would have a much reduced impact on the landscape and nearby properties.

At the development control committee in March, members voted that if an appeal was put forward, there should be another public inquiry.

The Stop Benington Wind Farm Action Group said: “We are dismayed that the Bott family are pursuing this appeal.

“The application was soundly rejected by local residents and the development control committee, as was the previous application and subsequent appeal.

“This means that even more council tax money will be required to fight the appeal.

“We agree with the council’s decision that the most appropriate form of appeal would be a full public inquiry, in the light of the strength of local opposition and the complexity of the issues, and not an appeal by written representations as requested by the applicant.”

Developer Andrew Bott said: “We have an excellent site for renewable energy production. A single turbine will produce enough power for 350 houses.

Unfortunately the development control committee rejected it. The reason given was visual impact.

As the developer we believe that the entire issue has boiled down to visual impact against the power generated. An appeal based on written representations should be quick and simple. It would also be cheap.

“There has already been a public enquiry on this site for three wind turbines. It was long and costly.

“We feel that it would be a ridiculous waste of taxpayer’s money to re-run a public enquiry on this site. Every possible issue has already been covered.”

Source:  By Sara Greek, www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk 9 May 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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